How to lock apps on your smartphone: methods and specialized software

In the rapidly developing cybersphere, it becomes more and more important to keep personal data secure. Today, even smartphones are protected by a password, fingerprint scanner or face ID. But what to do when you need to lock a certain app and your phone doesn’t have this feature. We’re not going to ask why you need it and what you want to hide, we’ll just tell you how to easily set a password on any mobile app in the Android system.

What is it for?

A smartphone essentially stores our entire lives – photos from trips, social media passwords, correspondence, work, and even something more secret. And, of course, you don’t want it all to fall into the wrong hands. Yes, the phone is password-protected, but there are situations when this does not save the day: you were asked to make a call, you forgot to lock your phone at work, and some of your colleagues did not deny themselves the temptation to look there. After all, even on the subway, the data from a banking app or wallet can be seen from behind your back.


Setting a password inside your smartphone is designed to:

  • Hide your personal life: correspondence and photos.
  • Secure payment system and bank card data if you often have to let colleagues or relatives use your phone.
  • Hide any confidential information from prying eyes.
  • Protect from children’s pranks. With a password, your child won’t see anything unnecessary, won’t reconfigure your smartphone and won’t spend money on nonsense.


How to set a password on all apps

The Android system is finalized by each smartphone manufacturer individually. This is both a plus and a minus. For example, some companies have the ability to internally password-protect smartphone apps separately from the login password, while others don’t. But the drawback is that everyone does it differently. Let’s understand how to make these settings on five popular smartphone brands.

On the Xiaomi phone

Xiaomi are Chinese smartphones, which “burst into” the Russian market a few years ago and broke into the sales leaders literally in a year. Not the least of these was the function of password-protecting programs, which at the time could boast of not every gadget manufacturer.

To put a password on an application on a Xiaomi smartphone:

  • Look for the built-in “Security” program in the menu and at the bottom click on the green icon “Protect apps”.


  • After that, a list of all the programs on the phone will open. Tick the ones you need to password protect.


  • Next, you need to come up with a password. If your smartphone is connected to a Mi-account, the system prompts you to link it to the security function. This is convenient for people who often forget their passwords.
  • If your smartphone supports the Face ID feature, it will prompt you to use it instead of the entry key.


  • Confirm your chosen app lock method.
  • If necessary, you can customize it by clicking on the gear icon in the corner above the list of apps.


For Meizu phones

Locking apps on other “Chinese” actually does not differ. The system is the same – through the application “Security”. What differs is the design of the interface and the range of locking options depending on the smartphone model.


On Huawei and Honor gadgets

Smartphones of these brands also have a built-in utility that allows you to limit access to programs.

  1. Open the “App lock” menu.
  2. Follow the chain “Security” – “Block apps”.
  3. Set a password and choose programs to restrict access.

There is another option – to create a separate user, but this is long, complicated and fraught with the fact that you will forget everything. Therefore, it is easier to use the standard scheme.


On Samsung devices

The developers of Samsung smartphones went the furthest. This brand is considered the main competitor to Apple, and therefore among the first to seek to introduce advanced technology into its products.

Samsung has built-in locking tools that allow you to set a key entry (graphic key, fingerprint, face ID) not only for the applications themselves, but also for individual files or groups of files (folders). And the cherry on the cake – the locked files will not be visible even when connected to a computer.


To lock the utility on your Samsung smartphone:

  • Go through the “Settings”-“Lock Screen (Security)-Security Folder” chain.
  • Log in to your Samsung account, or create one, if necessary.
  • The system creates a secret folder, then you choose a password for it. After creating the password, you mark the utilities or files that will be hidden in it.
  • You can customize the way the folder is displayed. So, if you hide the folder, it will be found only through the file manager, and in the main menu will not be visible at all.
  • When you click on the utility icon from the folder in the menu, the password window will automatically pop up.


Third-party applications

If your phone has limited OS functionality and you need to hide information, then special applications can help. There are a lot of them in Google Play, according to reviews you can pick the best for yourself. For now, consider the top utility locks with a high degree of protection and easy management.

Smart AppLock

A more advanced and extended version of AppLock. Allows you to group programs and select individual privacy settings for them. Moreover, the utility itself blocks or unblocks locked applications when connected to a particular Wi-Fi network. And if someone tries to break through the password, for example, into your account in a messenger, the application will “take a picture” of the curious and save the picture in the gallery of your smartphone.


AppLock .

Can be downloaded and installed for free from any official app store for Android. When you first run it will offer to choose at least one program to passwordize. The rest, if necessary, you can make later. Then enter the key twice so that the program remembers and approves it. You may password all your applications if you want.



Simpler and lighter than AppLock, but sometimes refuses to install to some smartphone models. Unique in that the first startup offers to put a password even on itself. Then, according to the standard scheme, select from the list of applications to which you want to restrict access. Vault provides 2 secrecy options: standard and hidden. With the first one, the program will pretend to just exit. Holding down “OK” will open the keyboard and you can unlock the utility. Vault has paid and free versions.


Tasker .

This is a paid application that not only protects the owner’s secrets, but also constantly optimizes his device to work comfortably. After installation, create a personal account, select a task and start installing protection. Choose an app, activate the password slider opposite the name. Then go to the lock screen and set the key combination.


Set a password on certain apps

Some apps themselves have privacy features. So, for example, you can lock Telegram:

  • Open the messenger.
  • Click on the gear at the bottom and get to the account settings menu.
  • Click on “Privacy and Security”.
  • There is an item “Enable code-password for the application”.
  • A password window will appear, write it down and save it.


If you want to cancel the installation of the password, then do everything in reverse order.

Many messengers, financial applications, wallets, marketplaces have this feature.

What to do if I forgot my password

The situation is not pleasant when the information you need is hidden in your phone, and the password has disappeared from memory. In this case, you need to act according to the circumstances.

  • Depending on the type of locking, try to remember what the pin code or the graphic key was associated with.
  • Some applications will require a face ID as a confirmation that it is you that has forgotten the password, and that you are the one trying to change or reset it.
  • If the password is set with AppLock or another third-party app, try deleting it. The security settings will be removed along with it, and previously inaccessible utilities will be reopened.
  • If all else fails, only a factory reset will solve the problem.


Which is better: third-party apps or the built-in lock function?

Advantages of the built-in app locking:

  1. The memory is not occupied by third-party software.
  2. No risk of getting adware junk in the cache.
  3. It is possible to restore the password (in case of temporary sclerosis) through the account in Samsung (or other system).

Advantages of working through a special utility:

  1. Wider range of options for locking (grouping, double key, password dependence on Wi-Fi network).
  2. You can lock anything you want.

It is impossible to say unequivocally what is better – a smartphone or third-party software for content locking. It is reasonable to try both options and draw your own conclusions.

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